Frieze of Prophets, west, north, and east walls
Frieze of Prophets, west, north, and east walls, installed 1895, oil on canvas (1999 photo)

Frieze of Prophets (continued)

To communicate the modernity of the prophetic ideal, Sargent departed from his archaizing treatment of the ceiling and lunette. For the frieze he chose a naturalistic style similar to the one he used in his career as a portraitist. Consistent with the idea that modern religion is a matter of each person’s private, interior relation to the divine, Sargent shows each prophet reacting in a particular, individualized way to the inspiration received.
The Triumph of Religion